Friday, 4 August 2017

From DK Shivakumar to Lalu: Some of the politicians, parties under agencies’ scanner

Karnataka minister and Congress leader DK Shivakumar is the latest addition to the long list of opposition leaders, who are under the scanner of central agencies such as the CBI, the enforcement directorate (ED), and the income tax department for charges ranging from tax evasion to graft.

Tax officials raided multiple properties linked to 64 places in Delhi and Karnataka linked to energy minister Shivakumar, who is hosting a group of party legislators from Gujarat to avoid a break in their ranks ahead of a close Rajya Sabha election, as part of investigations into his alleged tax evasion and dodgy investments in real estate.

Here is the list of politicians who are facing heat on a slew of charges:

DK Shivakumar and his brother DK Suresh
On August 2 and 3, the income tax department conducted raids at the New Delhi and Bengaluru houses of Shivakumar and his brother DK Suresh in connection with a tax evasion case. It sparked a political furore with the Congress accusing the NDA-led Centre of “witch-hunt”. The Congress minister is hosting 42 Congress MLAs from Gujarat at a Bengaluru resort ahead of August 8 Rajya Sabha polls in which senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel is locked in a cliffhanger of a contest with brewing rebellion among party legislators loyal to rebel Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela.

DK Shivakumar at his residence in Bengaluru on Wednesday.(PTI Photo)

Karti Chidambaram INX-FIPB approval case
In May this year, the Central Bureau of Investigation filed an FIR against Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, for alleged irregularities relating to foreign direct investments received by INX Media in 2007. Among others booked along with Karti are Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who were then managing INX media and are now in jail for the murder of Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora.

The CBI has alleged Karti used his influence in the finance ministry to help INX Media get an approval to receive foreign investments from three Mauritius-based investors. “The government, using the CBI and other agencies, is targeting my son and his friends. The government’s aim is to silence my voice and stop me from writing, as it has tried to do in the cases of leaders of opposition parties, journalists, columnists, NGOs and civil society organisations,” former finance minister Chidambaram said.

Lalu Prasad
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad and his family members have been accused of acquiring prime properties through dubious deals, a charge he denies. In July, the CBI raided 12 places across the country, including Prasad’s Patna home, over alleged irregularities in awarding of tenders for hotel maintenance when he was the railways minister. Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi, and their son Tejashwi, the former deputy chief minister of Bihar, have been named in the case.

The first one to come under the scanner over money laundering charges was RJD chief’s daughter Misa Bharti. The arrest of a chartered accountant allegedly linked to a private firm owned by Bharti signalled trouble for her as well as her husband Shailesh. The ED believes the CA acted as a mediator between the infamous Jain brothers and Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd, a private firm involved in publishing business. In March this year, ED arrested Surendra Kumar Jain and Virendra Kumar Jain on the accusation of laundering money worth over Rs 4,300 crore and subsequently zeroed in on a CA named Rajesh Aggarwal allegedly linked to Bharti.

Aam Aadmi Party
The AAP government is under a CBI probe for setting up of a special unit under the directorate of vigilance without the necessary approvals from the lieutenant governor. Agency sources said the government sanctioned procurement of “high-end equipment for data and research analysis, surveillance, and monitoring purposes”. The BJP’s Delhi unit has accused the AAP of setting up the “spy unit” to monitor activities of government functionaries. The CBI has also registered a preliminary inquiry against health minister Satyendar Jain over allegations of money-laundering.

(Source: HT)

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